A Jones House Christmas
The Jones House Community Center has decked the halls - and
walls - with more than holly.
Featuring two new art exhibits, a sleigh full of decorations, five locally grown Christmas trees and copious complimentary cookies and cider, the downtown Boone landmark is set for the holidays.
"I challenge anyone to find a nook or cranny here that's not Christmasy," said Cherry Johnson, executive director of the Watauga Arts Council, which is based in the Jones House. "I heard a staff member say if you stand still long enough, we'll put a bow on you."
In actuality, it takes more than just standing there to decorate the Jones House, more like two and a half weeks, Johnson said, and with a little help from its friends. The trees were decorated by friends of the Watauga Historical Society, half of the house's 28 wreathes were donated by Boy Scout Troop 109, and members of the Jones House advisory board decked the halls.
"We've become, I hope, a centerpiece of downtown, not only throughout the year, but the Christmas season," Johnson said, adding that visitors are welcome to stop by and admire the interior scenery, while treating themselves to cookies and hot cider.
Per tradition, the Appalachian State University Solar Club will officially light the solar-powered Christmas tree on the Jones House lawn during a ceremony officiated by Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. The tree will be lighted, albeit unofficially, throughout December.
The house is also available to rent for private parties and events at a cost of $50, plus staff expenses, though availability is limited during the holidays.
"We want to emphasize that the Jones House belongs to the community," Johnson said. "It's a great place to come celebrate, just bring your friends and food - everything else is already here. It's really a great bargain."
This includes the Jones House's two galleries, the Mazie Jones Gallery downstairs and the Open Door Gallery upstairs, both of which are exhibiting new shows throughout December.
In the Mazie Jones Gallery, area artist Susan Marlowe will showcase her mixed media exhibit, "Celestial Seasonings."
"Anything goes when it comes to mixed media," Marlowe said. "It's fun if you're a mixed media artist - you collect everything from your vast collection of stuff, put it together in ways that I think are pretty whimsical. I see this as a celebratory exhibit."
Many pieces in this particular exhibit come from Marlowe's 2008 blog project, in which she painted daily for 10 months straight and posted her work on the Internet. Each work is festive in nature, as are several new pieces she created just for the Jones House exhibit.
In the Open Door Gallery, Edwina May's exhibit, "Slow Down," encourages visitors to do just that, taking in every last detail of her colorful portraits and landscapes. May specializes in pet portraits, as vivid and full of life as her subjects.
Both galleries are sponsored by Cheap Joe's Art Stuff and Grassroots Funds of the N.C. Arts Council, and their openings will take place Friday, Dec. 4, during the Downtown Boone Art Crawl. A reception will last from at 6:30 to 8 p.m., featuring live music from violinist Laura Coston and her students, and recorder artists Donna Duke and friends.
The Jones House's regular hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, as well as the day of the Boone Christmas parade, Saturday, Dec. 12.
The Jones House Community Center is located at 604 W. King St. in downtown Boone. For more information, call (828) 262-4576 or visit http://www.joneshousecommunitycenter.org on the Web.